Hamsterprophecy: Prevision

It\’s All About Pen, Paper and People.

Punk Rock Isn’t Dead…

Posted by Nathan P. on July 6, 2005

…it just put on a suit and went to business school.

Here, RPGpundit sez “While Wizards/Hasbro certainly has a wiser management, it is their willingness to be on the forefront of system that makes them industry leader, and D20 is that system. Its openess to variation, adaptability, and ease of play are what define roleplaying to the extent that most new RPGs out there that are NON-D20 are trying desperately to create systems that nevertheless follow the same basic mechanical structures as D20 (Ie. one streamlined system that can be applied smoothly to all mechanics). Paranoia XP did that, WFRP2 does it, even the new WoD has moved in that direction.”

Now theres an indie credo if I’ve ever heard one. One streamlined system that, y’know, applies to all mechanics in order to create a specific gaming experience. System matters, man.

Does this mean that gamers really do want System Matters-style games, and the big boys and the indies are converging in terms of design? Is it coincidence? Is it the evolution of gaming? The idealist in me says yes! as more gamers realize that a system designed towards specific goals tends to work really well, they’ll start looking towards games designed with goals that they want that may not be D&D. The pessimist says its coincidence, and in 10 years everyone will just play on computers anyway.

Anyway. I think its an interesting comment.

6 Responses to “Punk Rock Isn’t Dead…”

  1. La Ludisto said

    I’d say you’re misreading the quote. He heralds d20 as a universal and generic system, applicable to many different genres and settings with only slight modification.

    It’s mass-produced gaming.

  2. I’m gonna second that remark.

    I don’t see anything in that quote at all about system mattering. All I see is streamlining. And if you look at their streamlining approach, like in the way White Wolf is doing it, applying their system to different games with different themes, then you might just say that they’re specifically saying that system doesn’t matter.

  3. Nathan P. said

    Well, I’d say that his comments kinda comes off that way despite his intentions.

    I guess streamlining and system matters are kinda opposite faces on a coin, in that way.

    Geh. I dunno. He’s definitely not a system matters kinda guy, given his other posts. I guess I just had a flash of optomism, is all.

  4. Ben said

    D&D is absolutely a great game written with a system-matters aesthetic.

    nisarg wouldn’t understand this if it smacked him with a two-by-four, I think. He likes it because it because he ignores it.

    yrs–
    –Ben

  5. Nathan P. said

    Yet again, Ben says what I’m trying to say but a million times better.

  6. RPGPundit said

    Not at all Ben, I absolutely admit and understand that D&D is made with “system matters”. I agree that system matters.

    I suspect you are the one who would not be able to admit that D&D and D20 are not the same thing if someone beat you with a giant salmon.

    D20 must be adapted to make “system matter” for any iteration of its play. D&D is one adaptation, Star Wars another; Traveller and True20 are two good examples of the two different extremes of D20’s adaptability.

    I think the problem you have is you can’t admit that D20 as a system can cover just about all but the most unusual of requisites of both setting and play style.

    RPGPundit

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